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 Post subject: fertilize eggs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:27 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird
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Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:53 pm
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got a few questions --

1. I have been told to get fertilize eggs in the warmer months and not in winter. why??

2. when I get eggs and they don't hatch. why??

3. i looked at candling eggs on the internet, and it shows different days of different stages of the egg. when is it best to look into the eggs, or is it better to leave them alone and let them hatch.

4. when i had the fertilize eggs and the broody hen, i have her in a run on her own, and i only go in the run to open and close the coop door, so she can get out to have a drink and eat. but is it better to put the food and water in the coop and keep the door close at all times??

5. if you put a fresh egg next to a fertilize egg, can you tell the difference??


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 Post subject: Re: fertilize eggs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:09 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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my answers
1) I like late winter eggs or early spring. Pullets born in August will grow well and usually lay through winter ...my last lot are still laying there heads off.( croad X maran) a1ll through winter and this summer..chicks dont grow as well in the extreme cold or extreme heat.Also this time of year ..yes eggs still hatch but overall the chooks are moulting and not as fertile
2) Many answers to this ..are they fertile,is there a rooster in with the hens ,are they freshish ..did they come in the mail and are ruined inside etc etc etc .......
3) I like to candle (this is what you call looking at the eggs ) at around day 10-- usually you can tell by then ..sometimes I will leave them a little longer if its a hard or dark shell.
4)That sounds good. Keep the broody and chicks separate .this means the other will not peck them to death or bully them .The chicks shouldn't get sick also ... babies are fragile for a few weeks and mother very protective......much nicer to have them away from the rest.When the broody is sitting you don't want the others getting in and laying eggs or fighting her ....
5)not sure here. exactly your meaning....with the shell on no ...but when cracked you will see a "bullseye"
Good luck .This is a good forum to trawl through the old threads and learn.


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 Post subject: Re: fertilize eggs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:55 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Location: adelaide
Question 3: Personally I dont candle eggs more than necessary. Perhaps the novelty has worn off also the more you handle the eggs the more likely you are to break one.

I tend to candle the eggs about day 10 then mark the non growing ones just before lock-down I re-candle the suspect ones and those that I am certain will not hatch I discard.


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 Post subject: Re: fertilize eggs
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:03 pm 
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Showy Hen
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I've just been through this process myself. This will probably be a long answer but based on that experience these are my answers:

My chicks are now 8 weeks old. I waited until I had a broody hen and then sourced local eggs for her. I guess that was late spring.
I've been advised that autumn is okay too and actually better for some climates because the temperature tends to be more stable but the chicks may not grow as big as spring chicks and might need heat for longer. I assume the hen would recognise that and look after them longer. If I find I have a broody in autumn I'll probably give her some eggs and see how she goes. I can see the benefit in earlier chicks but sometimes you just have to go with the girls. I didn't get a broody until late spring.

I had 15 eggs. I candled them on day 16 and they were all developing well but only 8 of them hatched. I think there are lots of reasons why an egg might not hatch even when it is fertile and has been growing. In this case I had a whole lot that died in the shell/weren't able to hatch and that was pretty disappointing.

I only candled on that one day. I didn't want to disturb my hen too much.
I have wondered if even though I washed my hands carefully before I touched them and tried to be quick, maybe interfering with the eggs affected the hatch rate. Even washed hands have oil and bacteria on them and egg shells are porous.
I also don't know anything about the flock the eggs came from. There may be some sort of genetic weakness.
I'll never know, but next time I don't know if I'll be so keen to candle. Alternatively, I might glove up.

The broody definitely needs her own space and other hens need to not be able to access her food and nest box. That said, when my girl got off the nest each day what she really wanted was a dust bath and to escape for a bit and I let her. It might be a balancing act to keep her nest and food secure but allow her a bit of freedom. It's not one I mastered.

I had my mummy and chicks in a section of the main coop but behind a wire fence after they hatched because I only had the 2 hens and I didn't feel like I could put the other one in solitary confinement. They are all in together now and we have had no problems with the integration. The other hen actually looks after the chicks especially when we let them out to free range (for short, closely supervised periods). I expect her to be the main force in teaching the cockerells a bit of respect when that becomes necessary.

There's no visible difference between a fertile egg that is being incubated and a freshly laid one. I marked the shells of my fertile eggs with pencil so that I would be able to easily identify any extra eggs that found their way in there when my broody was out stretching her legs. I had to remove a few.

I read lots of old threads on here and did a lot of other Internet research before, during and after our broody adventure. It's been really helpful. I know I did lots of things that other people don't recommend or even advise against because of our 2 hen situation. I needed to look after the wellbeing of both hens and that was difficult given our coop arrangements. In the end my husband had to modify the coop. Next time we'll be better prepared.

I hope your next clutch is a successful one.


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 Post subject: Re: fertilize eggs
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:11 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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thank you for that, that has been very hopeful, what you said. thank you


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 Post subject: Re: fertilize eggs
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:00 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Great work twitch. Now you need another broody and some developing eggs to candle. You may still get another broody at this time of the year but eggs will be more reliably fertile in the Spring.


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 Post subject: Re: fertilize eggs
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:13 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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I am hoping for another broody hen.

what do you mean about "reliably fertile in the Spring."


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 Post subject: Re: fertilize eggs
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:47 am 
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Showy Hen
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Spring is generally breeding season in the animal kingdom. Most animals have their babies then and most birds hatch their young then because of the milder/warmer weather which is better for vulnerable baby animals.

There seems to be a surge in fertility at that "best" time of year for breeding. The roosters are more active, the hens are more receptive. More of the eggs that are laid by a hen living with a rooster will have been fertilised. You can still get fertile eggs outside of spring but the percentage of the eggs that are fertile is likely to be lower. Maybe only half of them or even less.

A lot of breeders won't sell fertile eggs unless they have a certain percentage of the eggs being laid being fertile. I've seen 95% listed a few times. Once spring is over the percentage of fertile eggs starts to drop off and those breeders stop selling eggs. They don't start listing them for sale again until the next spring once they are satisfied with the percentage of fertile eggs again.


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 Post subject: Re: fertilize eggs
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:23 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
Great answer


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 Post subject: Re: fertilize eggs
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:12 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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I just broke the unhatched eggs, and found little chicks inside, just a question, why did they not hatch??


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 Post subject: Re: fertilize eggs
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:31 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
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Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
I wish I knew! I has 22 of 24 eggs fertile which is over 90% and 7 did not hatch even though they were developed in the egg. It could be a multitude of reasons I suppose!

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 Post subject: Re: fertilize eggs
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:38 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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ok, I am just learning about putting fertilise eggs under a broody hen and watching the chicks hatch and looking at mum looking after the chicks, it is so exciting.


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